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8 Facts about Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Learn about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about and digestive disorders.

Transcript

IBS is short for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and it's a constitution of a lot of different digestive problems and it can relate to a lot of different symptoms. The corner stone of it is pain and change in your bowel habits. Basically, to be defined as having Irritable Bowel Syndrome you have to have three days of these symptoms over a three month period.

So if you have pain that's alleviated by having a bowel movement or if you've noticed that there's a change in your bowel habits or if you're passing some mucus or if you noticed that you have more constipation as opposed to diarrhea you may have irritable bowel syndrome. Now it usually hits us in our younger years, a lot of times when we're more stressful than anything else. Stress can actually exacerbate it because there is definitely some interplay between stress and our digestive systems. Some people who get stressed can have more diarrhea, some people could have more constipation, some may have alternating between the two with stress, or they may have just plain pain IBS.

Understanding what type of IBS helps to treat the IBS symptoms because basically there isn't one magic pill for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The way to manage it is to understand what the triggers are and understand what the symptoms are and really treat the symptoms. Globally we can try behavioral modifications, some yoga, stress management. A lot of that is actually helpful for managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome as well.

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